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Half Japanese - Overjoyed

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 1 / 10 / 2014

Half Japanese - Overjoyed
Label: Joyful Noise Recordings
Format: CD


Upbeat first album in thirteen years from influential American indie act, Half Japanese

It has been 35 years since Half Japanese first surfaced. I wasn't a troubled person, but sure loved from the outset the maniac Fair brothers whose anger and angst led to dozens of raw diamond tunes. 'Overjoyed' isn't ironic. The album is a sincere celebration of life, and has full, rocking tunes with vocals and lyrics which show a maturing as well as style. Half Japanese helped to develop indie rock. The high-pitched, nasal and very distinctive voice of Jad Fair has not weakened at all, but he gets his highs from cutting paper designs rather than from substances. The sleeve has another inimitable design from him which draws him comparison with Captain Beefheart as both a graphic artist and musician. 'Overjoyed' to that extent, can be regarded as Half Japanese's 'Unconditionally Guaranteed'. 'Do It Nation' is a loud, gritty and quirky stomper, but still lovely. 'The Time Is Now' is particularly witty as a happy tune. It is back to indie rock with the latent country twang of 'Our Love'. It is back to brotherly love as well, since 'Overjoyed' reunited brothers Jad and David after over a decade. Not each track's a winner. 'Shining Star' recalls earlier days but fails to cut it short when its time has come. More mentions of candy kisses and chocolate baths on the title song return the album to its sense of imaginative oddness. There is more feline friendliness on the closing track 'Tiger Eyes' which rolls around like a sailor's song. A welcome return and we should all be overjoyed.

Track Listing:-
1 In Its Pull
2 Meant To Be That Way
3 Brave Enough
4 Do It Nation
5 The Time Is Now
6 Our Love
7 Shining Star
8 Each Other's Arms
9 Overjoyed and Thankful
10 We Are Sure
11 As Good Can Be
12 Tiger Eyes

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